Fairplay

  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • RIF Los Angeles' Shop
  • Japangeles' Shop
  • Japangeles' Shop
  • 11th Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Exhibition
  • Arts District
  • Staples Center
  • Hollywood Hills
  • Arts District
  • Hollywood Hills
  • Arts District
  • Downtown LA

LA: A Tale of a City

LOS ANGELES, CA – Let’s face it. About 20 years ago, Downtown Los Angeles was a disappointment. After working hours, the area was a ghost town, plagued by a serious homeless problem and void of any shopping -- other than an ill-stocked Macy’s department store. Today the district is unrecognisable. Since 2007, the city's leaders have banded together, and as a result, the City of Angels financial district has received a serious face lift and so has its fashion scene.

Minutes away from Martin Luther King Drive. and a few steps from Skid Row, Downtown LA is bustling with hipsters, galleries, bistros, style mavens and street style shops. A huge catalyst in this transformation was first, the construction of the Staples Center, the city’s mega sports arena and home to the LA Lakers basketball team. Next, was the construction of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, an architectural masterpiece that will surely resonate throughout the ages. Another huge factor was USC’s mega investment in enriching its surrounding areas. One of the main reasons for this investment was to ensure the safety of USC's students, whose parents have been wary of sending their children to a school in South Central, the historic scene of the Rodney King beating and riots that followed -- not to mention South Central's reputation as the setting of some of the century’s most famous “gangsta” films.

This summer, USC cut the ribbon on a $700 million residential and shopping village, which is part of the school’s $6 billion campaign to bolster its endowment, scholarships and research funds.

The project’s reach is enormous — adding a total of three million square feet of student housing, retail, academic and green space. Already housing tenants like Trader Joes and Target, the university for seems many more shops and restaurants.

Such visibility has helped the public hone in on Los Angeles’ fashionable roots that has for decades gone relatively noticed. FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) has been around on Grand Avenue since 1969 but it wasn’t until a few years ago, that it attracted global attention by hosting Project Runway and swanky exhibits. Most recently it unfurled its latest -- a wardrobe selection of Emmy Award-winning TV series such as: This is Us, The Handmaid's Tale and Big Little Lies… just to name a few.

“Each of our four campuses is strategically located for optimal visual stimulation and immersion in California’s vibrant entertainment, fashion, and action sports industries with plentiful business hubs,” said FIDM’s president and founder Tonian Hohberg.

Art, fashion and the entertainment industry feed off each other in Los Angeles and have made it stand out more than any other city on the West Coast.

Overall, Downtown LA’s fashion district has existed as a trade mecca and major supplier for collections for decades but until now, it has never received the attention it deserved.

In tandem, the Arts District has blossomed within the area of Second Street, Seventh Street, Alameda Street and the LA River. The contemporary art scene and highbrow businesses have rendered the area a home for young professionals and creatives. It is also totally walkable and filled with some of the most inspiring graffiti art in the world. It’s no surprise that the Museum of Contemporary Art turned to the fashion industry with its latest iteration of storefront, Artist Curated Projects (ACP), by Los Angeles–based artist Math Bass, who reconfigured a vintage version of the Bloomingdale’s logo to urge the public to contemplate the retail industry’s impact on modern society and its habits.

Back in Little Tokyo, noodle houses and Boba (bubble) tea shops abound. Cosmetic stores and boutiques punctuate the promenades. Two shops RIF and Japangeles sit across the street from each other - both at the epicentre of the city’s streetwear trend that is heavily affected by culture and history, rather than the mundane fashion, style or trendiness that fuels rivalling poser brands.

RIF prides itself on rare footwear and its own in-house brand of ready to wear. Japangeles just opened its shop this year and is the epitomises the type of creative expression emanating from the second and third generation Japanese Americans that have called Los Angeles home since the days of the Gold Rush. Jordan Kato, a 23 year old that works the Japangeles shop, which houses tees, sweatshirts and mesh caps decorated in jovial, upbeat, Japonica motifs like polka dot and tropical, said that the Japanese American community has a strong voice in the neighbourhood.

“A lot of people don’t realise, we aren’t typical Japanese. We are something totally different and we are constantly defining ourselves and so is our fashion,” said Kato. 

   

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Let’s face it. About 20 years ago, Downtown Los Angeles was a disappointment. After working hours, the area was a ghost town, plagued by a serious homeless problem and void of any shopping -- other than an ill-stocked Macy’s department store. Today the district is unrecognisable. Since 2007, the city's leaders have banded together, and as a result, the City of Angels financial district has received a serious face lift and so has its fashion scene.

Minutes away from Martin Luther King Drive. and a few steps from Skid Row, Downtown LA is bustling with hipsters, galleries, bistros, style mavens and street style shops. A huge catalyst in this transformation was first, the construction of the Staples Center, the city’s mega sports arena and home to the LA Lakers basketball team. Next, was the construction of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, an architectural masterpiece that will surely resonate throughout the ages. Another huge factor was USC’s mega investment in enriching its surrounding areas. One of the main reasons for this investment was to ensure the safety of USC's students, whose parents have been wary of sending their children to a school in South Central, the historic scene of the Rodney King beating and riots that followed -- not to mention South Central's reputation as the setting of some of the century’s most famous “gangsta” films.

This summer, USC cut the ribbon on a $700 million residential and shopping village, which is part of the school’s $6 billion campaign to bolster its endowment, scholarships and research funds.

The project’s reach is enormous — adding a total of three million square feet of student housing, retail, academic and green space. Already housing tenants like Trader Joes and Target, the university for seems many more shops and restaurants.

Such visibility has helped the public hone in on Los Angeles’ fashionable roots that has for decades gone relatively noticed. FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) has been around on Grand Avenue since 1969 but it wasn’t until a few years ago, that it attracted global attention by hosting Project Runway and swanky exhibits. Most recently it unfurled its latest -- a wardrobe selection of Emmy Award-winning TV series such as: This is Us, The Handmaid's Tale and Big Little Lies… just to name a few.

“Each of our four campuses is strategically located for optimal visual stimulation and immersion in California’s vibrant entertainment, fashion, and action sports industries with plentiful business hubs,” said FIDM’s president and founder Tonian Hohberg.

Art, fashion and the entertainment industry feed off each other in Los Angeles and have made it stand out more than any other city on the West Coast.

Overall, Downtown LA’s fashion district has existed as a trade mecca and major supplier for collections for decades but until now, it has never received the attention it deserved.

In tandem, the Arts District has blossomed within the area of Second Street, Seventh Street, Alameda Street and the LA River. The contemporary art scene and highbrow businesses have rendered the area a home for young professionals and creatives. It is also totally walkable and filled with some of the most inspiring graffiti art in the world. It’s no surprise that the Museum of Contemporary Art turned to the fashion industry with its latest iteration of storefront, Artist Curated Projects (ACP), by Los Angeles–based artist Math Bass, who reconfigured a vintage version of the Bloomingdale’s logo to urge the public to contemplate the retail industry’s impact on modern society and its habits.

Back in Little Tokyo, noodle houses and Boba (bubble) tea shops abound. Cosmetic stores and boutiques punctuate the promenades. Two shops RIF and Japangeles sit across the street from each other - both at the epicentre of the city’s streetwear trend that is heavily affected by culture and history, rather than the mundane fashion, style or trendiness that fuels rivalling poser brands.

RIF prides itself on rare footwear and its own in-house brand of ready to wear. Japangeles just opened its shop this year and is the epitomises the type of creative expression emanating from the second and third generation Japanese Americans that have called Los Angeles home since the days of the Gold Rush. Jordan Kato, a 23 year old that works the Japangeles shop, which houses tees, sweatshirts and mesh caps decorated in jovial, upbeat, Japonica motifs like polka dot and tropical, said that the Japanese American community has a strong voice in the neighbourhood.

“A lot of people don’t realise, we aren’t typical Japanese. We are something totally different and we are constantly defining ourselves and so is our fashion,” said Kato. 

   

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.